Saturday, January 12, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 12, 2008

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10 best gay destinations for 2008

From EuroQueer

The Ottawa Citizen
by Daniel Drolet

CREDIT: Montreal Gazette

A bewigged performer at Montreal's Black& Blue's ball.

1. Copenhagen: The capital city of laid-back Denmark is hosting the Outgamesin 2009 and is high on the must-visit list as it gears up.

2. Manchester, England: There's more to England than London, and Manchesteris increasingly on the GLBT traveller's gaydar. Their pride festival (Aug.15 to 25 in 2008) is one of the biggest of its kind in Britain.

3. Spain: Canada isn't the only place that has legalized same-sex marriage.Spain did, too -- and the weather is a lot warmer.

4. Buenos Aires: Very trendy right now. You can even do gay tango. Whoknew? More important: Who leads?

5. Guerrilla Gay Fare: On the second Friday of every month, hundreds ofgays, lesbians and friends descend on an unsuspecting straight bar and takeit over for the night. This secret operation is co-ordinated throughFacebook -- you've got to be in the know to be a part of it -- and operatesin cities all over, including Ottawa.

6. An Atlantis cruise: Have Speedo, will travel. These popular gay cruisessell out months in advance. Not ready for a floating party? Try theAtlantis events in CancĂșn or Puerto Vallarta.

7. Black and Blue, Montreal: Circuit parties, circuit parties ... there's somuch to choose from. This annual Montreal tradition, held each year inOctober, is world-class.

8. The Gazebo Inn: This 10-room establishment in an old farmhouse nearOgunquit, Maine recently won kudos from Gay-owned anddog-friendly, it attracts a mix of gay, straight and furry clients.

9. Palm Springs: A town full of clothing-optional resorts in the Californiadesert -- oh, my!

10. Utah Gay and Lesbian Ski Week: Gays and lesbians do more than bar-hop.There are plenty of GLBT outdoors events, like the ski week that takes placeJan. 9 to 13, 2008 in Park City, Utah.

-- Daniel Drolet, who made it to one place on the list in 2007.


New York Times

British Peer Cites Twins Who Married Unwittingly

January 12, 2008

LONDON - A brother and sister who were parted at birth and adopted bydifferent families married without knowing of their biological relationship,and then won an annulment, a leading anti-abortion campaigner, David Alton,said in the House of Lords on Friday.

Lord Alton, a peer who is also one of Britain's leading advocates forchildren's rights, cited the case in a debate over new legislation on humanfertilization and embryology, which opponents say will weaken the ability ofchildren to identify their biological parents.

Lord Alton, who said he had been told of the case by the high court judgewho granted the annulment, did not name the judge or the couple or offer anyother details, beyond saying the case was recent.

A parliamentary transcript of the peer's December speech, published thisweek, quoted him as saying that the couple were never told they had beenborn as twins. "They met later and felt an inevitable attraction, and thejudge had to deal with the consequences," he said.

Children's rights groups in Britain have argued that both biological parentsshould be named on birth certificates, including births in which the geneticfather donated his sperm. But other groups, including those supporting gayand lesbian rights, have opposed a so-called "father clause," saying itcould cause children, including those with same-sex parents, unnecessarydistress.

more . . . . .



Pa. Church Sues Over Property Seizure Threat

Saturday, January 12, 2008; B09

A church that voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) has filed alawsuit seeking to bar any threat of seizure of its property by thepresbytery as it joins a more conservative denomination.

Memorial Park Presbyterian Church, the largest in the Pittsburgh Presbytery,is seeking to confirm its title to 7.5 acres of land and ownership ofbuildings. The church filed suit in Allegheny County, Pa., Common PleasCourt after its governing body voted unanimously to disaffiliate from thepresbytery -- a regional body of the denomination -- following nearly a yearof negotiations.

In June, members of the church voted to seek dismissal from the nationalchurch. Memorial Park then offered $360,000 to the Pittsburgh Presbytery toseal the break.

Memorial Park's senior pastor, the Rev. Dean Weaver, said the presbyteryinitially offered to settle for $1.7 million but later lowered its requestto $1.2 million. Memorial Park made what it said was a final offer of$500,000 in September.

Memorial Park officials have said they were concerned about the national denomination's move away from traditional doctrines concerning the HolyTrinity and the Bible's authority, and its increasingly liberal views on gayordination. Similar disputes about sexuality, church oversight and propertyrights are dividing the Episcopal Church.

more . . . . .


Washington Post

Domestic Partnership Definition Is Criticized

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 11, 2008; B06

Gay rights advocates and opponents clashed yesterday over a new regulationin Maryland that defines domestic partnerships in state law.

The rule, approved 12 to 4 by a joint House-Senate committee that overseesregulations, was devised by the Maryland Insurance Administration late lastyear to comply with a law requiring insurance companies to offer coverage todomestic partners if their employers ask for it. The law took effect Jan. 1.

The law's sponsors, trying to overcome resistance in the Senate last year,stripped out a definition of who would qualify for benefits. The standardcreated by the insurance agency met with criticism yesterday, presaging apossible split in the General Assembly in the coming debate over same-sexmarriage.

To qualify for coverage under the new regulation, domestic partners must beat least 18, can be straight or gay, and must have lived together for atleast six consecutive months. The definition incensed Republican lawmakers,the Maryland Catholic Conference and a group promoting traditional values,which said it sanctifies cohabitation by straight couples.

"Now you can just say, 'I break with thee,' and you're gone, you can enterinto a new relationship," said Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil), notingthat Maryland law requires married couples to separate for a year beforeseeking a divorce.

more . . . . .


Washington Post

Episcopal Church Bans Bishop for 2 Mos.

The Associated Press
Friday, January 11, 2008; 11:12 PM

FRESNO, Calif. -- The Episcopal Church banned a California bishop Fridayfrom practicing his religious duties until March after he led hiscongregants to secede from the national church.

Bishop John-David Schofield drew sharp criticism from the U.S.-baseddenomination when he urged his conservative diocese to sever its ties to thechurch last month in a fight over the Bible and homosexuality.

Clergy and lay members of the Diocese of San Joaquin became the first fulldiocese to break from the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member worldwideAnglican family when they voted to secede Dec. 6.

Schofield cannot give sermons, do confirmations or perform any religiousrites until the national denomination's leaders meet to determine a finaljudgment by March 13, said the Rev. Canon Charles Robertson, canon toPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

"He was aware of the consequences of his action, warned repeatedly, andthere comes a time when it is important for the church to hold its ownleadership accountable," Robertson said.

more . . . . .



Flocking to Huckabee?
Conservative Christians could give him win in S. Carolina

By Heidi Przybyla and Lorraine Woellert
Bloomberg News
January 12, 2008

Jennifer Stec, a member of the Northside Family and Friends Baptist Churchin Columbia, S.C., says she has stopped writing checks to nationalevangelical groups such as Pat Robertson's 700 Club. Instead, her donationsgo to Mike Huckabee.

Stec said she is backing the ordained Baptist minister and former Arkansasgovernor in her state's Republican presidential primary next Saturdaybecause Robertson "sacrificed Christian principles" by endorsing former NewYork Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who supports abortion and gay rights.

"If you don't feel like the establishment is representing you, you'll electsomebody else," said Stec, a 34-year-old working mother. "That's calledrevolution, right?"

Stec belongs to an evangelical flock that is outrunning its leadership inthis election. This grassroots movement helped Huckabee win the Jan. 3 Iowacaucus, ignoring Robertson's support for Giuliani or Bob Jones III'sendorsement of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a Mormon.

"There has been some falling out between the base of the Christianconservative movement and its leadership," said Greg Mueller, anunaffiliated Republican political consultant who has worked on thepresidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan in 1996 and Steve Forbes in 2000.

more . . . . .


Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
LGBT voters show new clout in Iowa, N.H. contests
The election of LGBT-friendly legislatures in both Iowa and New Hampshirehelped pave the way for an "unprecedented" level of participation by gayvoters and Human Rights Campaign organizers in those states' presidentialcontests, according to this article. HRC hopes to build on that success atth Nevada caucuses and the Florida primary. Bay Windows (Boston) (1/10)
Activists lining up sponsors for Maryland marriage bill
Equality Maryland is closing in on its target of 35 House and Senateco-sponsors for a bill to legalize marriages between two people, accordingto this article. The Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act couldbe introduced on Tuesday. Washington Blade (1/9)
Will Virginia lawmakers be for gay rights this session?
A series of bills before the Virginia legislature could add new gay rights,including protection from housing discrimination based on sexualorientation, and ability for same-sex couples to make medical decisions foreach other and to receive domestic-partner benefits from local governmentemployers. Washington Blade (1/11)
Kentucky LGBT groups split
LGBT group the Kentucky Equality Federation has opted to stop working inconjunction with another LGBT group, the Kentucky Fairness Alliance.
Federation President Jordan Palmer cited alleged difficulties in workingwith the Alliance's top leaders and unspecified "personal matters" for thesplit. Alliance spokeswoman Christina Gilgor said the change would notaffect the group, which will continue with its work. Lexington Herald-Leader(Ky.) (1/9)
Group counters Vermont panel with pro-straight-marriage message
The Vermont Marriage Advisory Council has formed to tout the positives of"heterosexual marriage," in response to a state-authorized commissionstudying whether its civil union system for same-sex couples should beexpanded to offer them equal marriage rights. (1/10)
Out mayor of Paris listed by Islamist group as terror (1/10)
Binghamton, N.Y., gains second out council member (1/11)
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute is bringing its renowned Candidate &Campaign Training to Charlotte, NC. Join us Feb. 21 to 24 to learn how tobuild a winning campaign. Whether you're running as openly LGBT or workingon a campaign, our training will provide you with the tools you need forsuccess. Click here to learn more and apply by Jan. 28.
Editorial: California anti-bias law would benefit gay, straight studentsInstead of trying to scare California voters into recalling a law to protectpublic school students from harassment based on sexual orientation or genderidentity or using the courts to stop it, conservative groups should "calmdown" and let the measure take effect, according to this Los Angeles Timeseditorial. "Protecting students isn't just part of a homosexual agenda; itought to be on everyone's agenda," the Times writes. Los Angeles Times (freeregistration) (1/10)
Frank: Past battles key to achieving future equality
In this blog post, out U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., takes strong issuewith presidential contender U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's, D-Ill., contentionthat the "fights of the nineties" were unnecessary or too partisan. "Racialfairness, reproductive rights for women, an end to discrimination againstsexual minorities, universal health care, the right of working men and womento bargain collectively with employers -- these battles we waged in thenineties remain essential to our vision today, and I do not understand whywe should either be embarrassed about having fought hard for them, ten,fifteen or twenty years ago, or why we should not be determined to keepfighting until we have achieved success," Frank writes. The Huffington Post(1/9)


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Salt Lake City's new mayor's first action is to enact a domestic partnersregistry. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker is wasting no time making good on acampaign promise. In his first official action as mayor he has proposed adomestic partner registry for same-sex couples and for opposite-sex coupleswho cannot or chose not to marry. The measure will be voted on by citycouncil on January 22. Despite being the home to the Mormon Church and inone of the nation's most conservative states, Salt Lake tends to lean leftand a majority on city council say they will support the plan. Aspokesperson for the mayor also says that the bill conforms with Utah statelaw granting cities the power to "preserve the health and promote theprosperity, improve the morals, peace and good order, comfort andconvenience of the city and its inhabitants." Nevertheless, some statelegislators say if the bill is passed they will scrutinize it to be sure itdoes not violate the constitutional amendment.
A coalition of leaders from seven Episcopal congregations in Western NewYork have released on open letter to the LGBT community, apologizing for theabuses that we have faced at the hands of faith. Much better than the two close-minded letters that the Southern Baptists have been sending our way for years: Buffalo Churches Apologize & Welcome Gay People [Outcome Buffalo]
**Full text of the letter can be read below: An Open Letter to the GLBT
We leaders of Episcopal congregations in Buffalo want to offer our apologyand ask forgiveness from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community.
For centuries the institutional church and organized religion haveslandered, tortured, disenfranchised and sometimes murdered members of thecommunity. We ask forgiveness for using our Sacred Scriptures to wronglyjustify hatred, bigotry, prejudice and violence against those of differentaffectional orientation and gender identification, both in the past and,unfortunately, still today. As leaders of congregations, some of us openlygay and lesbian, we are humbled and vow to use our influence to change notonly our religions but our laws that seek to marginalize the GLBT community.
If you would like to seek an organized religion, we would urge you to attendas many different denominations and spiritual paths as you can. There areseveral that will welcome you. If you wish to seek an Episcopal Church,those of us listed below promise a welcoming and loving community for you,and/or your partner and your children.
In 2003, five years after the Defense of Marriage Act became state law inIowa, Kimberly Jean Brown and Jennifer Sue Perez, a lesbian couple joined ina civil union in Vermont, were granted a divorce in Woodburry CountyDistrict Court.When the ex-couple walked out of the Sioux City courthousethat November day, the fire in the debate in defining -- or redefining --marriage was lit. That flame radiated Thursday as more than 20 pastors fromdifferent churches in Henry County gathered at Faith Christian OutreachChurch in Mount Pleasant to hear how they can rally legislators to pass aconstitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between a manand a woman.
A Maryland legislative committee yesterday approved regulations that definedomestic partnerships, despite the opposition of Republicans andconservative groups who said that classifying relationships between peoplewho aren't married under state law could have far-reaching cultural andlegal implications. A joint House-Senate panel approved by a 12-4 vote theemergency regulations proposed by the Maryland Insurance Administration. Theagency drafted the regulations in response to legislation approved last yearthat requires insurance companies to offer coverage to domestic partners ifemployers or individuals request it. The hearing represented the openingsalvo of a debate expected this year in the General Assembly over same-sexmarriage. While the regulations don't specify that domestic partners be ofthe same sex, a broader debate is expected during this 90-day session on therights of such couples.Gay-rights advocates plan to push for legislationthat would allow same-sex couples to marry. The advocates are moving theirfight to the Assembly after Maryland's Court of Appeals upheld a statute inSeptember defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
A panel that oversees the state employee health insurance plan votedThursday to extend benefits to domestic partners, including those of thesame sex, and their children. The Public Employees' Benefits Program boardalso voted to recommend to Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Legislature that thestate provide funding to extend a state-paid insurance subsidy to domesticpartners and their children. Extending the subsidy would cost an estimated$3 million a year.A subsidy is provided by the state now to employees tocover their spouses and children.The expansion of the health care plan tocover domestic partners is not expected to take effect until the 2009-10fiscal year.
Anglican Bishop John Chapman says he will likely decide within seven months
or so whether to allow blessings of same-sex unions in the Ottawa diocese.
He is to discuss the issue with other clergy in July at the Lambethconference, an international meeting of Anglicans that happens once adecade. "I'm really hoping that, when we have an opportunity to look eachother in the eye that, somehow we will find a way through so that moretraditional-minded dioceses can live together with a more liberal-mindeddiocese under the same roof," he said. "I hope I am not being naivelyoptimistic, but I do put a lot of stock in what can happen when people sitdown and start to reason together."


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Why Are Talented PeopleLeaving Corporate America?
Did you know that unfairness in the workplace costs employers $64 billion ayear? That's the total cost of replacing and losing professionals who leavebecause of this reason alone combined; the cost in damaged brand reputationis far more. In today's corporate environment, subtle factors--publichumiliation, snide remarks, being passed over for promotions, culturalincompetence, jokes, teasing, hair-touching and pregnant-belly-rubbing--aremore prevalent than overt discrimination, but the repercussions are no lessdramatic for the companies that practice them.
Could This Be The Last Word For `The L Word'?
Visit just about any Web site dedicated to discussing and dissecting "The LWord" (its fifth season premiered Sunday on Showtime), and you'll findposters debating whether power dyke Bette should dump famous artist Jodi andget back together with movie producer Tina. And whether Tina should move onor go back to Bette, who, after all, is her baby's other mother.
International Gay Screenplay Contest - 10th Anniversary
The ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST, a screenplay contest dedicated to thepositive portrayal of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trangender and queerindividuals in film, celebrates it's 10th anniversary in 2008. Entries arenow being accepted online and are limited to the first 300 for 2008.
Executive Director, David Jensen, "We are excited to celebrate our 10thanniversary and are looking at a record number of entries this year. We arecontinually amazed with the quality of talent that comes through the dooryear after year." Jensen continues, "We receive entries from around theglobe and Hollywood is taking notice in a very big way. Many of our pastwinners are now hard working screenwriters"
Serving Up Fun at Sidelines Gay Sports Bar in South Florida
If you haven't heard of the Sidelines sports bar in Wilton Manor, Florida,then it may be time to take a trip down south for the winter. Wilton Manoris a thriving gayopolis located just outside Ft. Lauderdale, Florida andSidelines is their local sports bar, which caters to the growing gentrifiedpopulation. Wilton Manor Florida is known for having one the largest gaypopulations anywhere in the country with over 1270% more gay men per capitathan the national average.
Amaechi to Address Nashville NCAA Attendees on Gay Athletes
The nation's biggest players in college athletics will be heading toNashville this week to talk about the diversity of college athletes as partof the NCAA convention that will be held Jan. 10 to 14 at Gaylord Oprylandhotel.John Amaechi, former professional athlete, NBA and formerstudent-athlete, Pennsylvania State University, will be one of threepanelists that will participate in a discussion at the NCAA convention inNashville this Saturday, Jan. 12, entitled "Time Out! A Conversation AboutIncluding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Student-Athletes".
New Organ Donation Rules Don't Exclude Gay Men
New Health Canada regulations won't prohibit sexually active gay men fromdonating their organs, but will merely formalize standard industry practiceto prevent transmission of disease, according to several Canadian transplant associations."We will still consider all organs and all donors," said MarkMeloche, head of the surgery section at the British Columbia TransplantSociety. "We still consider the use of them, depending on the circumstances.It's all part of a risk assessment."
Chamber of Success
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has come a long way in size,stature and spunk since its humble beginnings in the mid-'90s. The group'sfirst awards dinner took place in the basement of neglected City Hall Eastin 1996, while this year's community awards function has upgraded to Atlanta's premiere attraction, the Georgia Aquarium.
Castro Street Goes Back in Time
San Francisco's famous gay neighborhood, Castro Street, is set for amakeover later this month when the filming starts on Gus van Sant's newmovie about gay rights activist Harvey Milk, the first openly gay manelected to office in the U.S.The Bay Area Reporter reports that some oldhaunts return to Castro Street, like the fabled Toad Hall bar - now part ofWalgreens - and Milk's old camera shop - now the home of gift store Given -as the filmmakers recreate the streetscape from the days when Milk reignedover the area as the "mayor" of Castro Street.



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Fate Of Edwards Supporters Could Be Key
(Washington) Democrat John Edwards placed second in Iowa, third in NewHampshire and faces even longer odds of pulling off a win in upcomingstates.
Light Crowd Greets Romney In Mich.
(Warren, Michigan) Despite embracing Michigan as the heart of his bid torevive his campaign, Republican Mitt Romney was greeted by anemic crowds ashe began his final push for votes in the crucial primary.
Moscow Court Acquits Gays Arrested In Election Protest
(Moscow) A Moscow judge on Friday acquitted 13 gay activists arrested lastmonth for staging a protest outside a polling station during nationalelections.
Maryland Defines Domestic Partners
(Annapolis, Maryland) Maryland lawmakers have moved to plug a potentialloophole in a state health insurance law that affects domestic partners.
Anglican Bishop Asks Priests Aligned With Conservative Predecessor To Resign
(St. John's, Newfoundland) Anglican parish priests in Newfoundland andLabrador who may hold conservative views are being unfairly targeted bychurch officials, says a former bishop who led a fight against therecognition of same sex marriage and the ordination of gay or lesbianministers.
Dispute Over Gay Clergy Roils Pittsburgh Presbyterians
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) A local church that voted to leave thePresbyterian Church (USA) has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar any threat ofseizure of its property by the local presbytery as it joins a moreconservative denomination.
Salt Lake Mulls Partner Registry
(Salt Lake City, Utah) Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker is wasting no timemaking good on a campaign promise. In his first official action as mayor hehas proposed a domestic partner registry for same-sex couples and foropposite-sex couples who cannot or chose not to marry.
Kucinich Demands NH Primary Recount
(Concord, New Hampshire) Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday he wants arecount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Department of Homeland Security Issues
Final Rules for REAL ID Act

January 11, 2008

Washington, DC - Today the Department of Homeland Security issued finalrules for the implementation of the REAL ID Act which became law in 2005.NCTE, in collaboration with many other organizations, has worked inopposition to this dangerous law that would create a national ID card andplace significant personal information at risk.

We have worked since passage, particularly on the implementation rules, toameliorate damage inherent in this bad and dangerous law.

Specifically to transgender people, NCTE was concerned that:

1) The REAL ID Act requires states to have gender as a mandatory field ondriver licenses. The final rules unfortunately do not eliminate thatrequirement.

2) The REAL ID Act could have mandated a preemption of state gender changepolicies in favor of a federal standard or even federal definition ofgender. We are pleased that the new rules would reserve gender definitionand gender change rules for the states.

3) The REAL ID Act essentially mandates a national database (a network ofstate databases) that would include personal information that could lead todiscrimination and violence against transgender and other people. These newfinal rules do not address these concerns and we continue to be veryconcerned about this privacy degradation.

Though NCTE's analysis of the new rules are not yet complete, since this 284page document was only issued at noon today, we are also initially concernedabout a requirement that states match their databases against SocialSecurity Administration (SSA) databases. NCTE has been working with states,most of which already match with SSA, to understand that federalrequirements do not mandate matching gender data with SSA.

Another notable point is that people born before December 1, 1964, will notbe required to have compliant IDs until 2017.

NCTE will issue a more thorough analysis in the following weeks afterconsultation with other allies that are also performing analyses of the newrules.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Kevin Cathcart.

In Brief

by Kevin Cathcart
Lambda Legal
Executive Director

* School Fails in First Amendment Rights

* New Jersey Hit with Signature Storm

* 35 Years of History, 35 Years of Support

* Protecting Laws that Protect

One of my favorite headlines coming out of this primary season was on aSeattle Times editorial: " 'Change' Leads Early in the Race." And it's truethat change is on the tip of everyone's tongue - from voters to candidatesof all political stripes, each trying to prove that he or she is the one whowill offer a new vision for America, the one who will bring about realchange.

But what exactly does change mean? That often depends on who is speaking theword, but one fact is undeniable: The next chief executive will have theopportunity to preside over, and hopefully champion, big changes for LGBTpeople and those with HIV. In this spirit, I thought I would begin the NewYear by outlining a few examples of what real change might look like for ourcommunities in the years ahead.

* We would have an inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination law.

* "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would end.

* We would change the government's discriminatory HIV policies.

* Hate crimes protections would give young people across America saferschools and shield all of us from antigay violence.

* Marriage equality would be a reality.

When people speak about change, they often quote Gandhi, who said, "You mustbe the change you wish to see in the world." I like this because it giveseach of us the chance to do our own small part to change the world we livein. And this is something we can hold on to regardless of who wins the nextpresidential election.

Read more about why these issues areimportant and what Lambda Legal is doing to bring about change.

Help Desk Q&A

Q: I have a friend from Asia who has HIV. She wants to visit me here in theU.S and doesn't think she'll be able to get a visa because there is a ban onpeople with HIV. I heard President Bush recently made things easier forforeign travelers living with HIV to visit the U.S. despite the ban. Is thattrue?

A: There is a law barring people with HIV from entering the United States,but there is a process through which some people can qualify for a waiver ofthat bar and get a visa. Recently, the federal government issued proposedrules that would create an additional way to obtain a visa to visit the U.S.for 30 days or less. Unfortunately, the proposed new rules will not reallymake it easier for people to obtain visas, and they have some seriousdrawbacks. Lambda Legal has submitted comments in opposition to the proposal. We hope that the federal governmentwill take those comments seriously and draft new rules that make it easierfor people like your friend to come visit.

Events Around the Country Lambda Legal regions map.

Lambda Legal Newsroom

Pam's House Blend, an award-winning blog, published the story, "Tom-BoysAllowed; Jane-Girls Not Allowed," after Lambda Legal launched a lawsuit onbehalf of a young man blocked from his prom for wearing a dress. Read thisstory and more in Lambda Legal's "In theNews."



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Examining Bathhouse Policy, NYC Says HIV Infections Up


An internal city health department memo addressed to Dr. Thomas Frieden, thecommissioner, lays out options for dealing with sex clubs, and concedes thatHIV infections are up among gay and bi men.

An internal city health department memo addressed to Dr. ThomasFrieden, the commissioner, lays out options for dealing with sex clubs, andconcedes that HIV infections are up among gay and bi men.

Health dept. memo suggests sex clubs could be closed with circumstantialevidence

After saying for years that new HIV infections among gay and bisexual menare high, but stable, a city health department memo given to Gay City Newsis asserting that new HIV infections among those men are increasing.

"New York City is now experiencing an increase in syphilis and an increasein HIV infection in men who have sex with men," Dr. Thomas Farley, a specialadvisor to Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city's health commissioner, wrote inthe November 2007 memo.

The six-page memo, titled "Policy

Regarding Bathhouses and Other Commercial Sex Venues inNew York City,"was drafted for Frieden and explores the options for dealingwith sex clubs and bathhouses.

"In view of this increase it is appropriate to re-evaluate New York'scurrent policies regarding commercial sex venues to see if policy changescould reduce the spread of these infections," wrote Farley, previously aprofessor and department chair at Tulane University's School of PublicHealth and Tropical Medicine.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] (Gay City News)

New Asylum Chance for Gay Egyptian

GAY CITY NEWS, 01/03/2008

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals,based in Philadelphia, ruled on December 20 that a gay Egyptian man shouldreceive a further hearing from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), whichearlier rejected his bid to stay in the US.

The man, referred to in the opinion as John Doe, argued that he met thestandard for remaining here under both the Immigration and Nationality Actand the international Convention Against Torture.

Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter rejected thepetitioner's argument that the BIA's decision should be reversed and he begranted his petition to stay. Instead, wrote Sloviter, the case should goback to the Appeals board, which is part of the Department of Justice, forreconsideration of significant uncontested evidence about torture in Egyptthat it did not address in its earlier opinion.

Doe is a native and citizen of Egypt who left that country in 1989 aftersuffering two beatings because he is gay - one at the hands of his highschool gym instructor and the other by a police officer "who saw Doe holdinghands with, kissing, and hugging his boyfriend" in a public park. Doe movedto Qatar, but claims he suffered additional beatings and threats after "aformer Egyptian classmate began to spread rumors that he is gay."



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay win gives Guam Senate to Dems

Cruz was endorsed by the Victory Fund. He won a seat previously held by aRepublican who passed away mid-term.

Senator-Elect Cruz Ready! For Work;
Leadership Changes In Guam Legislature Possible

Pacific News Center Staff Reporter 07.JAN.08

0:05 a.m. Guam - Senator-elect Benjamin "B.J." Cruz disclosed that he wantsto immediately take part in legislative proceedings and sit down with otherlegislators in a planned oversight hearing with the Department of MentalHealth and Substance Abuse scheduled on Thursday.

Cruz topped the senatorial race based on the final and unofficial results ofthe special election held last Saturday. The results will be officiallycertified at the next meeting of the Guam Election Commission thisWednesday, at 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, Cruz disclosed that he will meet with Democrat colleagues and askthem to remove him as the minority legal counsel.

The senator-elect said he needs to let go of the post not only because it isan obvious conflict of interest, but also because the Democrats are nolonger considered the minority party in the Guam Legislature.

For her part, Senator Dr. Judith Won Pat, the minority leader of theDemocrats, said she is confident her Republican colleagues will graciouslyrelinquish the majority leadership of the legislature.

The standing rule requires 12 votes to change leadership positions,including the speakership and chairmanship of the committees. - Pacific NewsCenter - Guam, Saipan, CNMI, Asia-Pacific


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Relax, It's Just Sex(TM)

Fri Jan 4, 2008 2:25pm EST, a new online magazine for swingers, by swingers, aims to topplemisconceptions and encourage an open dialogue about sexuality in today's culture

DENVER, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- today announced its launch of anew online magazine published, edited and written by one of this country'smost controversial and misunderstood sub-cultures: Swingers.

In the United States alone, the number of people involved in theswinging lifestyle is estimated to be as high as eight million; the majoritybeing highly educated and affluent young white-collar professionals. Yet swinging(commonly referred to as "the lifestyle") has had a decided lack of accuratePR, and most Americans' views on the subject remain steeped in stereotypesand moral judgments. is a total departure from what the general public mightexpect to find in an online swinger magazine. With no personal classifiedads, chat rooms, or gratuitous pornographic material, Kasidie has taken anintellectual and creative approach to exploring the lifestyle of swingers.

Through information, conversation and some sexy stimulation, Kasidie aspiresto overturn prejudices and preconceived notions about sexuality and the modernswinging lifestyle.

"Most people hear the word 'swinger' and they immediately focus on thesex," says Kasidie's publishers, Scott and Nicoleta. "But the swinginglifestyle is really not about sex, it's about sexuality and it's aboutfriendship. We wanted to create a publication that reflects that and focuseson the lives, thoughts and real issues of the people who are a part of thelifestyle. Kasidie magazine is not just for swingers, it's about swingers.It's a lifestyle magazine with particular emphasis on life & style."

Kasidie's contents range from the controversial, such as theautobiographical article A Very Hard Question of Faith: The Life of aChristian Swinger, to the playfully erotic, such as the visually stimulatingreviews of various sexual aids in their Kasidie Labs Playtests. Otherfeatures include: Couple of the Month: showcasing real couples from thelifestyle community; Exclusive Interviews with notable or influential peoplein the areas of swinging and sexuality; even humor and advice columns. Kasidie.comwill also feature the largest and most comprehensive collection of lifestyleparties and club listings on the internet. does not intend to preach swinging, nor does it aim toconvert others to any sexual sub-culture. Kasidie magazine is meant to be afun, sexy and informative place for people to learn and exchange ideas aboutthe swinging lifestyle. The publishers hope that anyone with an open mind mightcome away with a more tolerant and understanding view of swingers, theircommunity and perhaps even their own sexuality.


Scott Purcell, Publisher of Kasidie Entertainment, LLC, +1-303-807-3606,


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Pinellas Sheriff cracks down on adultery

By: Valerie Boey

Largo, Florida -- At the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies aresupposed to uphold the law and set a good example for others. That's whySheriff Jim Coats created a policy in 2005, banning adultery amongemployees, "Obviously there's nothing wrong with developing relationships ina work environment, just don't do it with married couples, with somebodyelse's married wife or husband."

He was concerned, when he received a complaint from a deputy, "One marriedindividual developed a relationship with another married individual."

According to an administrative investigation, Matthew Clouser filed acomplaint, that his wife Heather, was having an affair with Deputy JohnBradshaw. And Clouser adds, that affair began April 1st, after workingtogether in the communications center.

In the investigation, Clouser provided evidence of cell phone and textmessaging between Deputy Bradshaw and Heather Clouser. He says the twovisited a Swingers Club in Tampa. There was also a liaison at Bradshaw'sresidence in Pasco County, while Bradshaw's wife was away. Then there was anight at the Grand Plaza Hotel in St. Pete Beach. It was right before thatincident, that Matthew Clouser filed for divorce. But Clouser says thebreaking point was when he came home and found Bradshaw sleeping in his bed,while his wife was taking a shower. Clouser video taped Bradshaw and turnedit in deputies. Sheriff Coats says adultery creates a bad work environment.That's why he's enforcing the policy, "Certainly any time our deputies aredisciplined it's embarrassing to the agency, it's embarrassing to me."

While Clouser got a written reprimand for violating the policy, Coats says,Bradshaw got suspended for three days without pay. "Deputy Bradshaw had somecarry over points from some prior discipline so that's why his disciplinewas three days rather than the reprimand," said Coats. He hopes otherslearn from the situation, "This is an example for others not to follow."



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